Now here is a truly homespun real wedding. Why? Well because not only did our couple, WWW readers Kelly and Will undertake a huge amount of DIY for their wedding, but they held the whole day at Kelly’s parent’s home. Isn’t that just wonderful, a wedding at home? Their ceremony was held in a rustic country barn with the celebrations continuing on to a magical tipi. Their day was a real labour of love, with everything from archways and signage to name tags and the table plan all having been handmade by their loved ones and themselves. I love it when everyone comes together to craft the perfect wedding day.
The bouquets were a real show stopper for me today. I mean just check out those pale pink and blue blooms, gorgeous! Then there were the brilliant confetti throw and sparkler send off captured perfectly by Marta May Photography (thanks for sharing guys!), not to mention the smoke bomb portraits on the rowing boat, oh my.
I must shout out about the outfits too, because everyone looked stunning. Kelly chose a strapless and detailed Paloma Blanca gown, Will donned a navy suit and tweed waistcoat and the bridesmaids wore embellished pale pink and blue frocks. What style! Enjoy this wedding in all it’s beauty, it’s ever so lovely folks.
I was out for mid-week drinks on an ordinary Wednesday with my best friend (and future Maid of Honour), but little did I know that it was all a pre-arranged plan to get me out of the house. When I returned home, I opened the door to fairylights and candles lining the house – with hand written notes and old photographs leading me through our journey. A huge bouquet of flowers, an embarrassing mug, and a love letter later – I found myself outside where Will was stood, next to my roaring firepit he had designed for me for my birthday – where he dropped down onto one knee. Speechless!
We always knew we wanted a barn style wedding, as we wanted our day to be relaxed and fun – with our closest family and friends. We wanted a rustic country feel, but with magical unique elements. To create our vision we kept our suppliers as local as we could, and used friends and family where possible to help create our vision.
The Planning Process
Having only been engaged since August 30th 2017, we had to make our decisions quickly – which we decided was the best way to do it. We knew we wanted certain elements and suppliers, so we first contacted them to check availability. At the time we were unsure whether to get married in June 2018 or 2019 – so the response from our suppliers would be a huge determining factor. One date came back for 2018: June 9th, my sister’s birthday. After some deliberation, we went for it! Life is short, we had our vision, and my sister was more than happy for us to share her day.
We booked the major aspects quickly, and the rest soon fell into place. The most time consuming aspect was collecting ideas for the décor!
Your Outfits & Accessories
Will knew exactly what he wanted, and went for a smart navy fitted suit, with a pale blue tie from Peter Posh in Shrewsbury. He chose a blue tweed waistcoat to stand out from his Groomsmen (especially as his best man was his twin!). He chose brown shoes, and finished with a beautiful buttonhole from Issy & Bella in pinks and blues.
My dress (of dreams!) was Paloma Blanca from Wedding Belles of Four Oaks. I would never have picked it off the rail as I didn’t want strapless, but it made my final two along with a lace, white A line dress. In the end I chose this dress as I had never seen a dress like it and it was so different to previous dresses at weddings I had been too. The luxurious material, rich colour, full button train, pearl and embroidery detail – it was just a dream. I finished it off with a sheer cathedral length veil with little sparkle details.
My shoes were actually off eBay, and were ivory courts from Rainbow. So comfy! I then wore a pearl and diamond necklace with matching earrings (which were a wedding gift from my parents), my gran’s old watch, and a broach which belonged to my nan was attached to the ribbons of my bouquet.
I had my best friend, sister, cousin, and family friend as my bridesmaids, who looked stunning in their pastel embellished dresses from Monsoon.
We had a try on day at my house where they tried on about ten different dresses! They all decided they loved the same dress, but couldn’t decide on colour as two liked the blue, and two liked the pink. We decided to go for both as I wanted them to love their dresses – and I’m so glad we did as I loved we could bring blue into the colour theme. It also gave a beautiful effect having the two shades.
Will’s twin brother was his best man, with his 3 close friends being ushers. The groomsmen had the same navy suits from Peter Posh, with matching navy waistcoats. They all wore brown shoes and matching buttonholes from Issy & Bella. Will bought them all engraved hip flasks, which were well used throughout the day!
There were certain elements we knew we wanted and were important to us; and other aspects we decided to go without. It would be so easy to run away with your budget!
The Readings & Music
We had two readings, my maid of honour read a piece called ‘What is Love?’, and my sister read a piece called ‘The One’.
We walked down the aisle to Kodaline’s ‘The One’, sung acoustically by our friend Aaron. During the signing of the register he sung ‘I Won’t Give Up’ by Jason Mraz, and we walked out to ‘I’m Yours’ also by Jason Mraz. Aaron also played during the drinks reception – and had everyone on the dance floor before we had even sat down for dinner!
Our first dance was ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ by James Arthur.
In the evening we had a band called ‘Call of the Kraken’, as we really wanted a band that would be able to get people up and dancing and also keep them on their feet. They did just that – the dance floor was full all night and atmosphere was incredible.
We held the ceremony and reception in an old stone barn at my parents home. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to get married here…and Will took little convincing. The building was beautiful and full of character; so we decided to keep the décor simple, adding fairylights and delicate flowers to create a unique setting, which will forever be close to our hearts.
The courtyard made for a beautiful entrance, with rustic matting creating a beautiful walkway up to the barn; lined with beer barrels, milk churns, lanterns, bunting and signage.
We also had a tipi in the garden from Elite Tents, which created the perfect party atmosphere for the evening, adding to the rustic, relaxed vibe. We were extremely lucky to have such a beautiful setting, and be able to do a home wedding. The incredible atmosphere definitely added to the day, and also meant we could have some unusual guests (what a dream to be able to have your horses at your wedding!).
Jessica Ava did our make up – and I couldn’t recommend her more. She offers airbrush make up and wow it was incredible! At first I wasn’t sure about getting our make up done as we were trying to keep costs down, but I am so glad we booked Jess. I went for a natural look with added glam – as I wanted more than everyday, without being over the top. Jess got it just right. She also did my bridesmaids and my mum’s make up.
Our hair was done by our local hairdresser Nicki Jackson. I went for half up half down, and the girls all went for theirs up. We had some small ivory rose buds, and I had some gypsophila in the back of my hair.
We choose the May’s as their style is relaxed, fun and informal – just like we wanted our day to be. They really were incredible! They were everywhere, capturing every moment; but you also never knew they were there. They capture emotion in the best way possible, and produce the most beautiful creative shots.
We had a pre-shoot so Marta and Artur could see the venue and we could get used to being in front of the camera – and I’m so glad we did this. We felt at such ease with them on the day.
We always knew we wanted a videographer, as whilst photographs capture the memories; videos capture the before, after, and moments you don’t get to see. We would recommend to any couple to think about getting a videographer – the day goes so quickly that being able to relive it again and again makes it so worth it.
Picking a videographer was easy as Libby had filmed my friend’s wedding and we instantly loved her style.
Our cake was made by my childhood friend Charlotte Winter, and was a 3 tier semi naked cake. Vanilla, carrot and lemon finished with fresh flowers.
As it was my sister’s birthday we also made her a chocolate fudge cake, top loaded with strawberries and meringues, and semi iced in a similar style.
The Details & Décor
This was the chance to make the day unique and special, and personable to us – and it was the real DIY aspect of the wedding! Two weeks before the big day the farm was a still a building site from renovation work which had been ongoing, so it was a real effort from our bridal party who helped us transform the venue. I mean, the gravel drive didn’t go down until the Friday morning!
Rustic was the theme throughout! My dad made the archways, easels, and renovated the table we used to sign the register. My MOH painted our order of the day and all the signage we had around the venue. We had our main sign created by Made at Wood and Wood, which made for a perfect entrance, and will be transformed into a table as a keepsake from our day.
We collected and used milk churns, barrels, apple crates, lanterns, candles, bunting, gin bottles, log slices; and paired these with some beautiful tea lights, vases and glass bottles and cotton table runners from The Wedding of My Dreams. The name tags and table plan were made in our evenings after work, using craft tools from Hobbycraft. We also hung old photographs of us both on old barn doors, using twine and pegs. As we had a serve at the table roast, Will made aprons for all the carvers with silly photos on. It really was a great ice breaker for guests and the sharing format worked incredibly well – and tasted INCREDIBLE!
Fairylights from Lights4fun were hung in the roof of the barn to create a beautiful, soft, warm atmosphere. We provided blankets and flip flops for guests – as we felt getting cold and sore feet were main reasons people might leave early! We also had 3 firepits, which were a great addition, and linked back to the memories of the proposal.
We had lanterns hanging from trees, and lining the walkways – so at night it looked just as magical.
We took a week up in Scotland with our Lab pup Amber. It was bliss to have a week to relax, explore, reminisce and enjoy – as a carefree married couple.
Our gorgeous rustic, wild bouquets and buttonholes were made by the fabulous Issy & Bella. Blush and pale blue with touches of whites and cream, they were filled with peonies, roses, sweet peas, astible, oryla, veronica, love in the mist, delphinium tips, rosemary, scented geranium and eucalyptus. They smelled as good as they looked! I had mine hand tied with hand died silk ribbons to bring both the bridesmaids colours together.
The floral pieces at the venue were kindly and beautifully made for us by a family friend, Jan Davies. For the barn we had a floral archway (which my dad made), and we dressed the two barn windows, the outer barn doors, and had a beautiful arrangement on the table.
In the venue grounds we used potted plants where possible, incorporating lavender and herbs, as well as pink flowers. We put pots in milk churns and apple crates, to enhance that rustic feel – but allowing us to keep the plants all summer!
For the table centre pieces we simply used single flower stems in an array of gin bottles, and reused the ceremony centre piece for the top table. The archway went outside for people of use for photos, and we also had a second floral archway down by the lake with white drapes.
The feeling as the door opened to walk up the aisle and you first catch a glimpse of everyone…
The confetti walkway.
Dancing before sitting down for food!
And the band getting us both up in the air (!) to sing a Mumford & Sons song which they dedicated to us.
…And probably the burger at the end of the night…. best burger around… ever.
Advice For Other Couples
Enjoy every single second…. The build up, the day, the little moments. It really is the greatest day of your life.
Also really consider a wedding co-ordinator, especially if you are having a DIY wedding. Amy was amazing and nothing was too much; she took all stress away so we could enjoy the day without worry.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Marta May Photography
Issy & Bella
Other Floral Arrangements
Amy Roberts Weddings
Peter Posh Shrewsbury
Oh Kelly and Will, I really cannot thank you enough for submitting your beautiful day to us, it’s been an honour xo Lou